Talent development - student story

Covered in this illustration of practice:

Currently studying international law in London, this story describes the catalysts that supported Nazli’s talent development at school. Nazli’s story demonstrates the importance of these catalysts in taking her high potential and developing it into high performance.

Image: Nazli with her school principal and teachers

Nazli is an articulate, confident young woman. Her career path in international law and advocacy seems like a natural progression from her success in debating and public speaking during her high school years. Described by her teachers as a ‘natural school captain’ and socially and emotionally ‘mature beyond her years’ Nazli was able to make connections with students from any year group.

She was a self-motivated and enthusiastic student, who was proactive in seeking the best for herself, her school and her family. Nazli embraced the extra-curricular opportunities offered by her high school and credits them with preparing her for her future career.

Her potential in high school was clearly in the intellectual, social-emotional and creative domains. Nazli was surprised to find, however, that she had high potential in the physical domain also. Encouraged to try volleyball, she went on to play at state level. Prior to being identified with high potential in volleyball, Nazli revealed she used to ‘roll her eyes’ at anything to do with the word ‘sport’.

Nazli’s advice to teachers is to ‘remember that every student that you have, is an individual – there is no blanket syllabus that will be able to cater for everyone who is in your class’. She believes that her debating and public speaking teacher was integral to her success by finding extra resources in her areas of interest. Nazli’s teachers also mentored her and helped her to manage her studies alongside her extra-curricular activities.

Nazli describes her ambition is ‘to be the change-maker for people who are too scared to create the change themselves’. She states that the two most important factors in her success were finding her passion and having a strong support system.

Questions for professional learning

For school leaders:

  • Nazli's advice to teachers is to remember ‘that every student is an individual’. What are the implications of this for your high potential and gifted students in all domains within your strategic improvement plan?
  • Nazli had a desire and motivation to create positive change in her own school and community environment. How could a school support this motivation in their students? What strategies did Nazli's school put in place?

For teachers:

  • Think of a student that you have taught or currently teach who displays high potential in one or more of the domains (intellectual, social-emotional, physical, creative). The HPGE policy uses an adapted version of Gagne's DMGT 2.0 to illustrate the role of talent development in turning high potential into high performance/achievement. Describe the catalysts that will support or hinder their talent development.
  • Discuss the phrase “it takes a village to raise a child” in the context of Nazli's experience. What groups, individuals or organisations made up the ‘village’ in Nazli’s case?


  • Teaching and learning


  • Implementation

Business Unit:

  • Teaching, Learning and Student Wellbeing
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